Feb 242013

Leona Tate, who was one of three young girls to integrate the McDonogh 19 school in 1961, discusses her continuing efforts to improve public education in New Orleans at a Sunday night mixer at Oak Wine Bar. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A “unity piece” given to civil-rights hero Leona Tate by members of the Orleans Public Education Network on Sunday. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

In a show of unity that spans generations, a hero of the civil rights movement who endured death daily threats as a 6-year-old integrating her New Orleans school joined forces Sunday night with a relatively new group of local education activists — many of whom were born decades after her first day of school faded from the headlines. Continue reading »

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Feb 232013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

Back in the early days of his mayoral tenure, before things began to fall apart, Clarence Ray Nagin was a rock star. He didn’t know much about city government but he was cool, glib and very optimistic.

Did the city need an infusion of money? He’d sell the airport. Continue reading »

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Feb 222013

James Weldon Johnson Elementary School on Monroe Street.

A group of Carrollton residents say they were told this week by Recovery School District officials that Sophie B. Wright Charter School will be the first occupants of the James Weldon Johnson School swing space this fall, spending two years there while their Napoleon Avenue building is renovated.

The residents were also told that cost estimates have been reached for renovations to the long-abandoned Priestley site in their own neighborhood, they say.

RSD officials have not responded to requests to confirm accounts of the meetings this week. Continue reading »

Feb 222013

Craig Giesecke

If you’ve ever built a house or otherwise been involved in construction or extensive remodeling of a building, you know any contractor’s standard answer is “two weeks.” You also know only too well how, particularly in this city, the wheels of the public utilities and their regulatory minions in city government grind v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y –- unless, of course, you’re late paying a bill. Continue reading »

Feb 222013

The two-day Tulane Summit on Environmental Law & Policy, which runs today (Friday) and Saturday, will feature panel discussions on topics of local interest such as fracking, coal export terminals, Hurricane Sandy aftermath, water management in New Orleans, Louisiana’s scenic rivers, lessons from the BP spill, sea levels in South Louisiana, the Gulf Dead Zone and a keynote presentation by Yvon Chouinard, founder of the Patagonia outdoor clothing company. Continue reading »

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Feb 222013

Following news that the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament intend to close Xavier Prep at the end of the year, school officials and alumni are organizing a meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Dr. Martin Luther King Charter School on Caffin Avenue in the Lower Ninth Ward to discuss ways to keep the 98-year-old institution open, reports Maya Rodriguez of our partners at WWL-TV:

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Feb 212013

The owner of Jimmy’s Music Club may be taking his fight to reopen his renowned club straight to City Hall, but a group of Carrollton neighborhood residents told him Thursday night that they aren’t his problem.

In fact, the Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association said, they’d like to sit down and try to figure out a way to support him. Continue reading »

Feb 202013

Jean-Paul Villere

As the New Orleans metro area rises ever more steadily in popularity in terms of viability and visibility (hello yet another Super Bowl and mostly uneventful Mardi Gras season) as well as the 2012 numbers-driven title of fastest growing American city (somehow when I mention this in passing conversation nowadays a lot of people missed this), integral components to our cultural seasons just might need to be kept in check.  In other words, are we nearing a tipping point of over abundant festivals this or any other spring?  Or as I’ve come to call it, will we soon experience Fest Fest?  And should we?  And if we do, are we in danger of becoming a mockery of ourselves?  Maybe yes, maybe no. Continue reading »

Feb 192013

As the owners of Jimmy’s Music Club continue to seek the reopening of their landmark Willow Street venue, they are employing an unusual legal strategy to get around the temporary ban on new alcohol licenses in the Carrollton area.

Instead of asking the City Council to grant them an exception to the moratorium, they are asking the city’s alcohol commissioners to rule that the latest iteration of that moratorium is illegal altogether and thus inapplicable to Jimmy’s. Continue reading »